Micronutrients are important not only for better productivity of crops, but also essential for sustaining human and animal health. There is a widespread deficiency of micronutrients especially zinc in the Indian soils. Micronutrient malnutrition is known to affect more than half of the world’s population and considered to be among the most serious global challenges to mankind. Malnutrition is of great public health significance in various developing and underdeveloped countries. Deficiency of iron and zinc can cause various severe health issues. Modern plant breeding has been historically focused towards achieving high agronomic yield rather than nutritional quality, and other efforts related to solve the problem have been mainly through industrial fortification or pharmaceutical supplementation. In humans, problems caused due to micronutrient deficiencies can be solved through biofortification. Biofortification is a promising and sustainable agriculture-based strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiency in dietary food substances. Effective biofortification techniques need to be recognized and applied in an effort to enrich the micronutrient content in the staple crops. Foliar fertilization with micronutrients often increases nutrient uptake and efficient allocation in the edible plant parts than soil fertilization, especially in the case of cereals. Agronomic biofortification can be a way to enrich the food crops leading to decreased micronutrient malnutrition in humans. Moreover, it is the most cost effective and sustainable solution for tackling the micronutrient deficiencies as the intake of micronutrients is on a continuing basis with no additional costs to the consumer in the arid-tropics and sub-tropics of developing countries.
Agronomic biofortification, Foliar fertilization, Malnutrition, Micronutrient deficiencies, Nutritional quality